Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, an ex CIA agent who seems to have an ongoing issue with the people he cares about the most being taken. This time it’s not just his family that are the target, but it’s Mills as well. Review of Taken 2 after the jump.
One year on from the events in Paris and Bryan is on a short assignment in Istanbul where he receives a surprise visit from is daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) and ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen). Bryan is delighted to get the chance to spend more time with Kim (who is growing up far too fast in his opinion) and his ex-wife, particularly since he and Lenore have been on rather friendly terms recently. The film’s title is Taken 2 so it comes of no surprise when the idyllic family holiday ends with someone being…well, taken. This time it’s not people smugglers doing the taking, but the mobster family members of the people smugglers and associated men who Bryan killed to save Kim in Paris. They want revenge for the death of their loved ones, and they want Bryan and his family to suffer.
Taken is a well executed popcorn action flick, and although it wasn’t original or different in any way, it did the action-thriller genre so well. It was also quite dark, and had a real sinister edge with very high stakes. With Taken 2 all of this is gone, and instead what you have is a money-making shadow of the far superior Taken. The action set-pieces which should make Taken 2 intense and exciting are instead frustrating to watch as it seems the film makers have edited them to shreds, never allowing you to focus for more than 3 seconds before it cuts to another shot. I came to see this film to see Liam Neeson kick some ass – is it too much to ask to actually see that?
In Taken 2 the actual “taking” part of the film is so absurd that it becomes an unintentional comedy. From the head-shakingly bad dialogue, to the unbelievable feats Neeson’s character manages to carry out, and the awful stereotypical Euro-villains set for revenge – it is all really quite laughable. You’ll be so busy chuckling at the “humour” that you’ll forget that there are actually characters who have been taken that you are supposed to be worried about.
Taken 2 is not a very good action/thriller, but it may be one of the best comedies out this year.
By Sam McCosh
Director: Olivier Megaton
Writer(s): Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen
Starring: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace
Runtime: 91 minutes
Release date(s): Australia: October 4 2012; USA: October 5 2012; New Zealand: October 11 2012